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12,000 People in Central African Republic Flee LRA Attacks

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12,000 People in Central African Republic Flee LRA Attacks

Posted by Amanda Hsiao on May 28, 2010

12,000 People in Central African Republic Flee LRA Attacks

In just the last six weeks, 12,000 people have fled their homes because of Lord’s Resistance Army attacks in the Central African Republic. Despite the enormity of the number displaced, the U.N. has been frustrated in its efforts to access this vulnerable population as a result of ongoing insecurity caused by the rebel group and other armed activity.

A U.N. spokesperson said:

“People have emptied villages in the south along the DRC border and are seeking refuge in the main towns. The LRA rebels’ presence is leaving residents with no or [precarious] access to fields. This is a humanitarian concern.”

Since late last year, the LRA has escalated its attacks both in terms of number and intensity in the remote southeastern corner of CAR, where the Central African state, and international peacekeepers and humanitarian organizations, have little to no presence. Civilians and refugees from neighboring states are left defenseless, or, if they are able to flee from the attacks, without any source of support. So dire is the situation for the population under siege that one community issued a plea for help in a letter addressed to the French ambassador, obtained by Enough.

Humanitarian aid organizations are hampered by ongoing violence and the threat of attack. Earlier this month, the LRA attacked a truck delivering food from the World Food Program to refugees and IDPs.

In the first five months this year, 20,000 people have already been displaced in CAR—an astonishing number when compared with the 15,000 displaced in all of last year.

Photo: Burned out truck belonging to an aid organization (Enough/Ledio Cakaj)